Richmond Fair

Sunday, September 26, 2010

We have been going to the Carp Fair on and off for the last 7 years or so. It's close by and in September, like all good fall fairs. I've always enjoyed it except for the fact that the Carp Fairgrounds are dirty and dusty.

When I was little, I always went to the Richmond Fair and I remembered that it was grassy, so we tried it out this year. It had all of the same things as the Carp Fair, but it was cool and mostly on grass. The kids enjoyed the rides and Mr. Boy was really into the games this year. He did really well on one and won twice in a row.

We had junk food for lunch and watched a bit of the horse shows.

Sweet Pea on the slide.
Sweet Pea is a thrill seeker and she loved the scrambler. I loved it too, but my neck started hurting by the end!
Mr. Boy playing the games.
Precious had her face painted like a cat.
The girls went on one of the kiddie rides.
Sweet Pea got the Princess face.
And she got a pony ride.
And so did Mr. Boy.We enjoyed our day and we'll definitely go back.

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Chips are Good

Monday, September 20, 2010

Yummy.
So yummy.

A little too yummy!

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Fall is in the Air

Saturday, September 18, 2010

When the air gets chilly in the morning, and the kids go back to school, and fall starts to arrive, I inevitably get the nesting instinct.

I subscribe to Canadian House and Home and Style at Home magazines.

I watch HGTV. A lot.

And I dream about furniture, painting my house a new colour, and tearing down walls or re-configuring rooms from time to time.

So when my co-worker told me about a Habitat for Humanity house tour, I was confused. A Habitat for Humanity house in her upscale neighbourhood? She pointed me to the website and explained the story to me. Here it is as it appears on the website.

"Recently, Habitat for Humanity-NCR received the biggest donation in our history; a nice home in a great neighbourhood. Our plan is to turn this gift into a major marketing campaign and capital funding drive. We plan to renovate the home (it has been untouched since it was built in the 60’s) using our very talented volunteer design pool in the Nation’s Capital. In the early summer, we will have open houses (over the course of four weekends) for public viewing, before we sell the home. It is our hope that, with the sale of this home, the special events and the Capital Campaign, we will raise $1,000,000. That translates into the ability for Habitat for Humanity-NCR to house 10 new, low-income working families."

Since then, a lot of work has been done, and the house is on the market for well over a million dollars. What was once a traditional home from the 60's, built by the same builder as my house no less, is now a modern and stylish family home in a nice neighbourhood. Since they're charging $10/person for the open house, I hope they make even more money for this worthy charity.


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New Daycare

Monday, September 13, 2010

Our nanny's last day was Thursday. She's been with us almost two years. She took care of the older two kids after school and all summer, and she took care of Precious all afternoon, as she was in half days at school and preschool the last two years.

Jenny is a wonderful and caring childcare provider. Precious loved all the cuddles and reading that Jenny did with her. She and Jenny even took the city bus together to school some days.
It was no problem for Jenny to find another job. My girlfriend was looking for one for the end of her maternity leave until her son starts Montessori. Live-out nannies are hard to find so my friend is happy, and Jenny will be thrilled to have a little boy to play with and cuddle.

The older kids start their new daycare today. They're going to my friend's place every day after school. It's about 1 km on foot, there are a couple of grade 3's going there, and it's right beside Precious' school-provided daycare.

I feel so excited about this new arrangement as the new daycare provider is lovely and I know the kids will love being with other kids after school.

I'll be taking the bus home from work and taking it an extra few stops to get off outside Precious' school, where she is in the before and after school program. Then we'll walk to the other daycare, which is on the way home, and walk the rest of the way home together. Mondays should be 'interesting' as Precious starts piano at 5:30, giving us very little time to get home and eat.

Walking 2 kms a day will be good for the kids, and I need to remember to bring comfortable shoes!

And today is my first day working full-time since 2005! Wish me luck!

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On the Very First Day of School...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The kids were raring to go on Tuesday. Even Mr. Boy put his clothes out the night before. Sweet Pea has been looking forward to this day almost since school let out in June, and most definitely over the last few weeks.

I had the morning off because we were meeting with Precious' kindergarten teacher at 9:30 that morning. The bonus for me was that I could be with the older two on their first day. The five of us ate breakfast together, made lunches, brushed teeth and hair and headed to school.

The kids didn't need new backpacks or even new school clothes this year, although Sweet Pea got a pair of skinny jeans and some hot pink Converse from Grammy and Mr. Boy got a cobalt blue hoodie.
Of course, there were cars everywhere on the first day. All the buses were late. For us walkers, the first day of school is pretty treacherous and busy compared to a normal day.

Because it was raining, we got to school and the class lists weren't taped to the walls so we could find out the teacher's name and who was in the kids' classes. Odds were that Mr. Boy was going to be in a portable, since in grade 3 now, but I wasn't sure about Sweet Pea.

Turns out Sweet Pea is a grade 2 in a 1/2 split. I'm still not sure how I feel about that, but it does mean she's in the school rather than in a portable.

Mr. Boy is in a class with a few kids he knows, and a teacher with a very good reputation. She sends daily emails to the parents, which is a HUGE change from the teacher he had last year.

My older two kids are very adaptable and the first day of school is fun and exciting for them - as it is for me!

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Christine is a Genius

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I was dreaming of my white kitchen with an island but I was stuck in a paradigm where interior (non load-bearing walls) were not removable. Once Christine suggested I 'steal' some space from my dining room so I could get the kitchen I wanted, I got inspired.

My kitchen currently sits in a narrow space behind the stairs, in between the family room and dining room.
By removing the wall between the dining room and the kitchen, and moving the eating area into the former dining room, and moving the dining room into the former family room, it isn't too hard to get an island AND a pantry into my 'new' kitchen. The island is long and narrow, but makes a perfect place to hang out when people are cooking and gives both more counter space and more storage underneath.

The pantry is similar in size to my current pantry, which I use constantly. There's a landing space on BOTH sides of the cooktop, and the dishwasher is located right across from where I would store the dishes, making it a lot easier to load and unload it. Beside the sink, I would have a pull-out drawer so I could have the paper recycling, composting, and plastic recycling, as well as the garbage. The fridge would be accessible to the eating area (for milk refills), and I could have my TV in the eating area for when I'm cooking. My dining room would be much bigger than it is now, which is great since I have a HUGE dining room table which easily sits 12. It's actually my brother's, but I'm borrowing it.

Since the dining room would be too big, I would love to steal a few feet from it expand my mud room and/or put in a small workshop, but I don't want to give DH a heart attack just yet, so let's not talk about that right now.

We have an over-sized living room which we are currently using as a dining room. It has our piano and a wood-burning fireplace, and it would be perfect as our family room. I wonder what it would do to re-sale to remove the separate living room and family room and instead have the same amount of space re-configured from three rooms to two.

Since this is still just for fun, although DH jokingly gave me the go-ahead on the project last night - if I can get it done for $7,000 - many of the details would change, but I can see the overall space would work.

I could still have a lot of fun tweaking the locations of appliances and drawers, deciding what kind of uppers I would have (ie. glass doors, open shelving, no uppers, etc.), thinking about a backsplash, figuring out where dishes, pots, glasses, etc. would go, but I'm happy to have this basic plan worked and to dream.

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